Judging by ongoing momentum moves in various European stock and bond market indicators, one could be left with the impression that something in the continent is actually improving. And while hope of improvement is certainly be high, the reality is vastly different as confirmed by the just released Greek unemployment data, which saw the broad unemployment rate soar to a fresh record high of 26.8% in October (24.1% males, 30.4% females - that's nearly one in three), up from a pre-revision 26.0% in September, and up from 19.7% a year ago, the youth (15-24 age group) unemployment rising again to a new all time high of 56.6% (up from 56.4%), and the ratio of those employed (3.68MM) to unemployed (1.34MM) plunging to a record low 2.75x. At this rate it may well hit 1.00x quite soon. But even sooner, perhaps in a few months, the total number of inactive workers (3.34MM) will surpass all those who are working. In short, the Greek collapse is just getting worse and worse.
From the report:
Unemployment rate in October 2012 was 26.8% compared to 19.7% in October 2011 and 26.2% in September 2012.1 The number of employed amounted to 3,680,894 persons. ?he number of unemployed amounted to 1,345,715 while the number of inactive to 3,344,478. The corresponding figures for October 2007 to 2012 are presented in Table 1.
The number of employed decreased by 309,335 persons compared with October 2011 (a 7.8% rate of decrease) and by 16,015 persons compared with September 2012 (a 0.4% rate of decrease).
Unemployed increased by 368,102 persons (a 37.7% rate of increase) compared with October 2011 and by 36,219 persons compared with September 2012 (a 2.8% rate of increase).
Inactive persons –that is, persons that neither worked neither looked for a job– decreased by 23,828 persons (a 0.7% rate of decrease) compared with October 2011 and by 7,478 persons compared with September 2012 (a 0.2% rate of decrease).